United through football boots

Credit: The West

AFL football inspires and unites many young people and this is particularly the case in the Kimberley region which has produced many football heroes and role models.

Former league player Brett Claudius was one of those role models. He played for Perth Football Club and helped develop the talent of many young Indigenous players throughout the Kimberley during his distinguished footy career.

Following Brett’s passing a couple of years ago, his niece Holly Giles decided to continue her late uncle’s great work with young people.

The student at St Norbert College in Perth realised that there are many talented young footballers in remote communities who can’t afford to purchase a decent pair of footy boots. Holly started a second-hand boot drive for needy young players in the Kimberley and received literally hundreds of boots donated by juniors, amateur and WAFL Clubs.

But how to get the boots to the young people who needed them? That’s where Kununurra PCYC and other local community groups stepped in to link up Holly’s boot collection with those who would need and love them.

When Holly along with 10 students and staff from St Norbert travelled to the region in September, Kununurra PCYC working with the local Youth Policing Officers, organised an evening get together in a local park where around 65 young people between 10 and 17 were introduced to Holly and her classmates and, of course, the boots.

PCYC and the WA Police YPOs reached out to the young people through our combined extensive local networks and the result was simply fantastic.

During a wonderful warm evening, over 80 pairs of boots found a proud new young owner and everyone had a lot of fun swapping football stories, yarning and learning about Holly’s late uncle Brett’s career and legacy.

Kununurra PCYC plans to distribute more of the donated boots to around 20 young people in Wyndham in the near future.

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